When you are new to owning an RV and preparing to take it out on a trip, there will definitely be things that you won’t think to prepare for until you experience them yourself. So, to make your life easier and your trip more enjoyable, we have put together a list of tips that will help you prepare well for your trip so that you can avoid making any mistakes.
Gassing up. When preparing to go on an RV trip, gas up the night before! If you wait until the morning you leave and you need to gas up at a regular station, it will be much more difficult because there are likely to be more people and cars busily swarming the pumps. If you are on the road and need to gas up, fill up at a truck stop if you can use diesel fuel. If you need regular fuel, search for “RV gas pumps” to locate a station where you can fill up off to the side rather than on the regular crowded gas pumps.
Know the measurements of your RV. Knowing the height of your RV is important because you never know when you will approach a bridge that is too short to go under. Knowing the length of your RV is important to know to make parking and driving easier for yourself and the people around you. Knowing the distance between your tires is also important so that you can be aware of an issue that might come up where your tires are getting further apart or closer together.
A tire pressure monitoring system and tire repair bag is always good to have on hand. When you are out and about traveling, you never know when your RV is going to get a flat tire. It is best to be prepared just in case! Also, keep in mind that the rule of thumb is to replace your RV tires every 10,000 miles. But, if the tires of your RV have been sitting around for a long time, they may need to be replaced sooner than that - so keep an eye on them! Usually, big rigs or class A motorhomes have tires and chassis so large and heavy that self-repair is not possible or safe. Use your road or trip insurance or service to find a place to repair them.
Bring extra water. Make sure that your RV fresh water tank is full when you leave for your trip. And if you are going to be out traveling for an extended period of time, it is always best to bring portable water with you as well so that you have enough water to drink and fulfill other RV household needs.
Have an extension cord and tool kit on hand. Just in case the plugin for your RV’s electrical is further away than expected, that extension cord will save you a lot of stress. And as for the tool kit, you never know when something is going to break! Make sure your extension cords are rated for the power and distance you plan to use. Thirty and Fifty AMP cords are much thicker and expensive. For most RV Parks, an extension cord won't be necessary.
Sewer Connections. If you plan on staying at an RV Park, make sure you have a good length of sturdy sewer hose (at least 20 feet) with proper connectors for both ends. You'll need an elbow connector with screw-in threads for most parks. A good seal between your sewer line and your campground provided sewer connection is required for health and safety reasons. Bring gloves for use when dumping and make sure you know how to dump safely if you are renting an RV.
Document your trip. After your trip, it is a great idea to write down what went well, what didn’t go well, and the things that you really loved. By doing this, it will help you avoid making the same mistakes more than once, and your trips will become more and more enjoyable each time. Plus, having a journal full of details from the RV trips you have been on will be a very fun thing to look at in a few years - and maybe get a few laughs out of!